To increase its visibility, several brands have developed sales strategies aimed at respecting the environment and responsible use of resources. Before the web or social networking, the green marketing activity starts from the stores where there is direct contact with customers
Today consciences are becoming more and more aware of environmental issues and the world of commerce has also suffered, with many companies implementing green-marketing strategies to capture consumers who are attentive to the responsible use of resources. Even in retail it is possible to implement effective methods to enhance the green soul of products.
One example is Ikea, the famous furniture multinational, which launches creative solutions from its stores to communicate its sustainability such as the adoption of renewable energy and waste recycling. Green marketing strategies are also good for small and medium stores, perhaps exploiting the potential of the internet and social networking.
THE GROWING GREEN AWARENESS OF CONSUMERS
Green marketing stems from the need to intercept the preferences of consumers who are attentive to the future of the planet, and who have recently grown. Problems such as global warming or air pollution are very much felt and more and more people have changed old habits for new and more responsible ones such as separate waste collection, water waste reduction and energy consumption controls. In short, an awareness that has also been reflected in trade.
According to a research by the Observatory I imagine Nielsen GS1 Italy green purchases of Italians have grown in all aspects. The products with the claim as “100% natural”, “chain” or “organic”, are 5.7% compared to last year, with a total value of 2.2 billion euros. Growth has also affected the packaging sector. Almost half of Italians say they have stopped buying products with an excess of packaging, 22% say they have significantly reduced the purchase of those with plastic packaging and 23% are moving more and more towards bulk products.
There is also an increasing number of consumers who, when making a purchase, check the type of material and the ecological characteristics of the packaging, preferring those that are biodegradable, recyclable or that can be easily reused.
BRANDS THAT HAVE DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES
Among the international brands there are those who have made ecology their flag. Since its foundation until today, Ikea has promoted its environmental vision through ad hoc services for its customers and adhesion to awareness campaigns (many in collaboration with WWF). The commitment can also be seen in the points of sale, where customers have the opportunity to verify the environmental responsibility of the brand. For several years now there is the Environment Desk, where you can ask for free suggestions on how to increase domestic efficiency and reduce costs, as well as information on solar panels, renewable energy and eco-friendly technologies. The multinational has also taken children into account, with workshops where children and young people can plant vegetables, cook with natural products and make objects with recycled materials (especially during the Christmas and Easter holidays). For some years now, the stores have been offering The Bargain Corner, a space with economic solutions for the reuse of goods that have been consumed (even if still in conformity) or that have been made redundant, so as to bring customers with fewer possibilities and needs closer to the possibility of reusing products for recycling.
The fashion world is also committed to reducing the environmental impact of production. H&M recently developed the H&M Consious initiative, a line of garments made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester, and which are marked with a green label in stores. Falconeri, the knitwear specialist brand of the Calzedonia group, has launched the ReGeneration Cashemere campaign which rewards those who wear an old garment with a voucher to spend in the store. In short, systems to enhance waste in which the customer is at the centre.
THE SECRETS FOR A WINNING GREEN MARKETING STRATEGY
Multinationals, franchises or independent shops. Green marketing is suitable for all kinds of retail sales.
The first step is to emphasize the ecological culture of your brand, building a transparent and as environmentally friendly image. Then it is appropriate to communicate environmental sustainability on social networks, creating hastags consistent with your message and also involving influencers, actors of change in our society. If necessary, videos can also be used which, compared to text messages, are more effective for each target audience.
In addition to telling good practices, a green marketing strategy must also take into account the social aspect. It can be useful to have good relationships with the local community and involve key people and organisations to communicate your green efforts. For example by sponsoring events for territorial promotion, launching environmentally friendly initiatives with the help of institutions or organising debates on the circular economy. This will strengthen the sustainable identity of the brand and increase its credibility with its target audience.
Edited by Matteo Melani